Music Reviews



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Artist: Louis Laurain/Rodolphe Loubatiere/Yoann Durant (@)
Title: Au Dehors
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
After I introduced his amazing collaboration with guitarist Olivier Dumont, another interesting release co-signed by creative French percussionist Rodolphe Loubatiere is an outdoor performance recorded with Yoann Durant (trumpet) and Louis Laurain (saxophone). Beyond the typical fuzzy way of playing instruments, one of the funniest aspect of "Au dehors" (French for "outside") is the occasional weird symbiosis between surrounding setting and musicians, who sometimes sound like the copycat of what happens nearby their dais, so that winds seem to talk to the tweeting birds by mocking them (Monsier Laurain manages to imitate even a dove) and percussions look like hacking and sputtering after people's coughs, while the interplay between the musical instruments is really amazing as there are many moments when it seems they exchange their roles. After the initial tuning when Rodolphe sounds like rubbing any trace of musical score out by wiping his metallic objects off while his playmates starts blowing dust off their tools, mikes intercept amazing jokes and really weird sounds which seem to fall faul till the final crumbling. It certainly deserves a listening.
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Artist: Bisclaveret & Feine Trikers Bei Pinkels Daheim
Title: Both Sides of the Looking Glass
Format: 7"
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This is the first 7" vinyl from this label and is, in fact, a split release. According to the press notes, this is a collaboration from Bremen's FTBPD and Gdansk's BISCLAVERET, and the track from both groups has been wrote exclusively for this release.
"An Introduction to Reading God", the Bisclaveret one, is a strong atmospheric track based upon a soundscape, spoken words and almost industrial beats with a crescendo of cinematic quality. "Unterhose Totalphimose", the track from Feine Trikers Bei Pinkels Daheim, is a well produced track based upon a drone and small noises that puts the track in dark ambient territories truly evocative.
This a release of a short duration (less than 10 minutes) but creates an awaiting of longer releases from this band. It worths a listen.
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Artist: S.P.O.C.K.
Title: The Best Of Subspace Years
Format: CD
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
Artoffact releases this compilation from this historical outfit. Titles as "Dr.McCoy", "E.T. Phone Home" and "Klingon 2000" reveals the sci-fi influence present in the lyrics. Musically speaking this is classic synth-pop reminiscent of Human League and develop this form through the lines of pop and dance floor territories.
It doesn't make sense make a track commentary as all track develop the same form, however this album can't be judged on how is different from another album on how push the limits of this genre. This album has to be judged on the formal basis i.e., how is written and tracks like "Satellites" reveal a band that know how to write a song and how to make people smile and party. The form is rather simple (a dancey beat, a catchy pop vocal line and a shiny production) but, when cleverly used, works at his best.
This a really enjoyable album that can be rated as 5 star, thinking at the formal basis, or 1 star, thinking at the novelty basis. So the average is 3, however if you are a fan of synth pop this is one of the release of the year.
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Artist: Daniele Brusaschetto (@)
Title: Cielo Inchiostro
Format: CD
Label: Bosco rec
Rated: *****
Honestly I have totally lost count of how many albums Daniele has released so far. He's one of the artists I've known about and have been following on and off for probably two decades now and who he relentlessly continues to release new material on his label Bosco records.
Based in Turin, Italy, Daniele was one of the pioneers of industrial music, and specifically of a sub-genre of industrial music that he probably unwillingly created, where authorship and songwriting seamlessly blend with noises and melodies to create a new style that he is proficient at and almost nobody else seems to play or take part in, most certainly not on his hometurf (read, country!). It's hard to describe but I guess you could try thinking about Einsturzende Neubauten's most melodic releases and replace the German singing with Italian singing. Industrial folk is probably what I'd come up with if I had to put it in two words, but that's always limiting.
The language used probably has a lot to do with the identifiability of his style, granted, but it also has a lot to do with where his style comes from, musically and historically. Italy's tradition of songwriting has roots that go back decades if not centuries, and although in the last '40 years Italian music is often (but not always) synonymous with second grade garbage pop, Daniele willingly or unwillingly, consciously or unconsciously draws upon that tradition and, most importantly, develops upon it, taking it further, with sonic vignettes, found sound patterns and rhythms, experimental sounds and more along those most creative lines. Although guitar was very prominently used in the past, this new direction of his hands the lead off to a more avantgarde percussive aesthetic with a lot of samples, house objects and very minimal melodies.
The CD comes in a handmade cardboard sleeve with three semi-transparent sheets that feature titles and lyrics.
If you have never checked him out you owe it to himself, and him, because he's been at it for longer than most of you might have been into this genre, and in that sense, he has a lot to teach and a lot to give. Quite possibly, if you don't speak Italian it might not be as interesting as if you did, but nevertheless his music is a trip. One that you should embark on!
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Artist: Schizoid (@)
Title: The Next Extreme
Format: CD
Label: D-Trash records (@)
Rated: *****
Canadian D-Trash records released one of my own records in 2009 and so when in the mail came the D-Trash release from the label's mastermind Schizoid himself, I could not send it off to my amazing contributors and had to take the time out of my crazy busy days to review it myself.
Thirteen years after his speed core debut "Enough is Enough" and after a long compositional hiatus, Schizoid returns with his 3rd full length album "The Next Extreme", which is basically digital hardcore taken to its most extreme limits of speed and brutality. Verging on black/grind metal and breakcore, "The Next Extreme" is basically about as far you can take the digital hardcore genre and still call it that.
Schizoid throws 16 abrasive, fast, violent and harsh tracks at you with the same delicacy that a charging rhino would panzer-speed through a china shop, the china shop being your life of course. His lyrics (d)evolved from political criticism to misanthropism, with most songs covering the hardship of life, the disdain for the blatantly ignorant bystanders of our civilization and death that is all around us and hovering above us.
The album features a ton of guest appearances by long time D-Trash friends such as Babylon Disco, The First Seed, The Named, Phallus Uber Alles, Angel Enemy, Alex B from Leech Woman, No Brigade, Jul!e D:stroy, DK Dance, Dirty Fingers Licked, Luna Seaux, Junkie Kut, Robot(a), Hansel, Drugzilla, Celebrity Dead; and I believe Schizoid when he explains that these cameos are not for marketing purposes but to highlight the camaraderie that exists in this scene and around this label.
Certainly not for everyone but if you need to be shaken awake or you are looking for the next extreme, look no further!
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